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Guest liquidmethane

Tempe, AZ

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Guest liquidmethane

I'm deciding between ASU and UCLA for my PhD. I visited both, and came away with a positive impression of both locations. I'm interested in hearing what people have to say about Tempe (especially current students). Are the summers tolerable? Do you like the city and surrounding area? Do you get a chance to get out of town for some hiking/camping, skiing, etc.? What are the people like? I noticed that everyone is white. Tempe seemed to have a lot of fun bars, pubs and restaurants -- is that true? Any other thoughts/comments?

What's your overall experience in Tempe, and would you recommend it?

Thanks!

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Guest ASU Physics
I'm deciding between ASU and UCLA for my PhD. I visited both, and came away with a positive impression of both locations. I'm interested in hearing what people have to say about Tempe (especially current students). Are the summers tolerable? Do you like the city and surrounding area? Do you get a chance to get out of town for some hiking/camping, skiing, etc.? What are the people like? I noticed that everyone is white. Tempe seemed to have a lot of fun bars, pubs and restaurants -- is that true? Any other thoughts/comments?

What's your overall experience in Tempe, and would you recommend it?

Thanks!

I am an undergrad at ASU right now. The summers here are ok as long as you stay indoors. If you have to spend time outside it is pretty damn hot, and really not enjoyable. Tempe is a pretty fun place, there is plenty to do around Mill ave., but I would have to say that it is not nearly as fun as Westwood (ULCA). While I have not really had time to get out to hike or ski or anything like that, I know that it is possible. There are plenty of mountains nearby to hike, and flagstaff is about 2.5 hours away if you want to ski.

Your comment about everyone being white is true. I am not sure if that is good or bad to you. People tend to be pretty right-leaning as well. While people may say that driving is worse in LA than in Tempe, I would disagree. The traffic isn't as bad, but the people are terrible drivers here.

I guess I would say that Tempe is a pretty good place to live, BUT I did spend a month at UCLA a couple years ago for an internship and I must say that it was much more fun there. Unless your program is far superior at ASU than at UCLA, I would personally recommend UCLA.

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Yes, summers are HOT. I live in Scottsdale. If you do love the outdoors, there is plenty to do (check out hikearizona.com). Hiking in nearby valley locations is ok during fall/winter/spring, and then you must go up-country for hiking in the summer because you will wake up to 90 degree temps at sunrise. Hot temps go from April through even October. I've actually used AC already now.

Sort of like the opposite of winter. If you rent an apartment, make sure it has AC, not just swamp-cooling. Not to scare you. The winter temps are envied elsewhere!

I've taken only a couple of courses at ASU (post-bacc), and it has been fun. Can't speak for the campus as a whole though.

Good luck!

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PS- I would suggest visiting the Tucson thread. Even though it's 2 hours away, the people on there are generalizing about Arizona, Phoenix and Scottsdale. (PhX and Scotts neighbor Tempe).

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does anyone have any opinions about tempe or arizona state university (where to live, what to avoid, etc.)?

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I've lived in Phoenix/Scottsdale for most of my life. I moved to Tucson to U of A to do my undergrad.

First, ASU sucks. I have to say that no matter what and the reason should be obvious.

As far as Tempe goes, it's generally an alright area. Avoid Mesa, I personally just don't like that area. Mill Avenue is where you'll find the best bars and a lot of other interesting stuff.

Get used to being told that you don't live in Tempe even if that's your street address. All of the "cities" around Phoenix have already been assimilated, kind of like LA.

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werthless, can you explain what specifically about ASU sucks?

also can you describe what tempe is like? honestly, i have no clue. like is it more suburban or urban? is it overrun by students? are there cool places to hang out, good food to eat?

what's the apartment situation like and do you have to worry about crime or anything like that?

also, do most people drive and do you need a car? the asu website suggests that you don't really since the bus system is pretty extensive (and you get a free bus pass) and a lot of people bike?

thanks!

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U of A and ASU are rivals- so that explains that issue. I also did my undergrad at UA but I've lived in Arizona about 14 years. Tempe is a "suburb" of the Phoenix area. Tempe itself is centered around the ASU area and I guarantee that you'll want to do some exploring outside of the Tempe area. Scottsdale is another suburb on the opposite side of the Phoenix metropolitan area that is probably no more that 20ish minutes away. I would recommend that you bring a car, mainly because everything outside the campus is kind of spread out. Plus, when the weather reaches above 100 degrees (and it will many, many times- it is a desert after all), you'll be happy to have your air conditioning. Plus, Tucson is only an hour and a half car drive away if you want to see temperatures 8 degrees lower, nature, wildlife and a smaller town with more character- makes for a very nice day trip. I hope that answers some of your questions. Let me know if you have more!

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Bump! I'm very seriously considering ASU (as in, probably, yes, very likely to attend). Does anyone have any thoughts? Are there places close to campus that are affordable? I've been able to walk to my campus and it's made me pretty spoiled. I'd love to hear from anyone that has some info!

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I'm also seriously considering ASU. The area sounds fantastic, warm, urban, NFL, NHL, MLB, Bowl Games, etc so I'm stoked about that. Unfortunately, I won't be able to visit before I make my decision.

Does anyone know anyone who has lived in the grad/family housing at the Poly campus or if anyone knows anyone in the Master of Counseling program?

To the last person to respond before me:

I'm told it's a generally idea to live right around campus, that most of the the housing around there is very undergrad and very "you'll get an STD from the swimming pool," not to mention a decent amount of crime and noise around the Mill Ave. area. I've been told from numerous sources to shoot for 1-3 miles away, possibly to the south if you want a more young professional/grad student feel and milieu.

What program are you in?

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I'm told it's a generally idea to live right around campus, that most of the the housing around there is very undergrad and very "you'll get an STD from the swimming pool," not to mention a decent amount of crime and noise around the Mill Ave. area. I've been told from numerous sources to shoot for 1-3 miles away, possibly to the south if you want a more young professional/grad student feel and milieu.

What program are you in?

Gross. I definitely want to avoid the undergrad party scene atmosphere! Though a mile or two wouldn't be too much to walk, the campus at the school I currently attend is about a mile across anyway! I basically want to avoid using my car as much as possible. I should be able to visit before I move out there but I'd like to get as much info as I can!

I've been accepted to the PhD program in bioarchaeology, which is a part of anthropology. It's an amazing program so it's pretty likely I'll be there in the fall.

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I just found out I got into ASU too. I visited about a month ago and wasn't blown away. The weather sounds pretty bad from like April till October. Last summer the airport was closed because the tarmack was melting :shock: The area isn't amazing but the people were really nice and their program seems really good. Oh decisions, decisions!

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I spent 4 years in the engineering program at ASU, and I thought the city, school etc. was good. The social scene is pretty cool when you go out (I always had a good time, and never got an STD), and the academics range from great to not so great depending on the program you are in. It is a gigantic school, so dealing with the bureaucracy is painful and impersonal (but that seems to be the same as my experiences with UCLA, and I assume other schools of similar sizes).

If you are coming in as a grad student, don't expect to be hitting the undergrad party scene. Since 2003ish, they locked down the dorms to residents, unless you are escorted in. Over the last couple years, they actually got pretty good at keeping people who don't live there out.

Summers aren't as bad as everyone makes it out to be. April? It still averages 80 degree highs. If that is hot to you, you might want to look into Cornell and Michigan, or even the north pole. That might be better suited for you. It gets uncomfortable when it starts to touch 100 degrees, and that is mid-May. The June-July time-frame will have you jumping from air conditioning to air conditioning. It is reasonable again in mid August (when school starts). The temperatures get so high because the city is essentially an asphalt island, trapping heat all day long. If you drive out of the city on the 202, you can feel the temperature drop 10 degrees over the course of about 5 miles.

On the bright side, it still hits 70 degrees during the day in December.

Hope that helps!

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Oh, and I think someone asked about crime somewhere-

Property crime is a serious problem. Don't park a porsche or something on the street because it won't be there when you get back. My suggestion is to get a bike from a junk yard and ride that to class. That way, you can leave it unlocked, and it will still be sitting next to the broken lock from the nice bike next to it when you get back!

Violent crime is not a problem. I don't know of anyone who has ever been assaulted. Only problems I have had were with drunk guys at parties, and I don't think that can be avoided anywhere.

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Oh, and I think someone asked about crime somewhere-

Property crime is a serious problem. Don't park a porsche or something on the street because it won't be there when you get back. My suggestion is to get a bike from a junk yard and ride that to class. That way, you can leave it unlocked, and it will still be sitting next to the broken lock from the nice bike next to it when you get back!

Violent crime is not a problem. I don't know of anyone who has ever been assaulted. Only problems I have had were with drunk guys at parties, and I don't think that can be avoided anywhere.

Yikes! The city I live in now has a fairly low crime rate (though I'm one of those people who has never really worried about crime!)

I'm excited about ASU and hope that's where I'll be in the fall. I am a little worried about the whole party school thing and hope I'll find a place to live away from that undergrad feel.

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I lived in Tempe for a year during undergrad. Coming from Chicago, the weather was awesome and the scenery beautiful. There is just a fresh warm feeling being there with all the mountains and palm trees. There are a few mountains 15 mins or so from campus that you can climb. One is camel back. Also I cannot remember the name but there is a stream/river type place where people go tubing nearby. Biking is common, there are trails everywhere and many students on campus ride to class.

Scottsdale is really close and it is your typical rich suburb with lots of shopping, expensive cars, and yes (to answer the previous question) it is very dominated by whites. There are tons of upscale bars, restaurants, and lounges in this area as well. Many of the nightclubs are dominated by ASU students but I'm sure there are lounges that aren't. As a student I hardly ever went to Pheonix and felt that many of the activities centered around Tempe and Scottsdale with the occasional trip to Chandler (for the mall).

I found it ABSOLUTELY necessary to have a car. I never had one and had to constantly depend on others to get rides to the grocery stores, etc. I remember one specific instance when I had to go to Best Buy to repair my computer and ended up having to make 3 connections and encountering some sketchy characters.

It seemed to me that there was a drug problem, primarily cocaine and meth. Although I didn't really "hang-out" with people who did drugs this became quickly obvious.

I ended up leaving Tempe/Scottsdale with a negative outlook of the place. Despite the weather, scenery, and outdoor activities I felt that many people were really into money and appearances. It seemed like the Beverly Hills of Arizona. I met a few down to earth people who could have conversations about things other than appearance, fashion, nice cars, designer clothes, and which clubs to frequent- but met many more who couldn't. I didn't appreciate the lack of diversity either. But if you are a person secure with yourself you can "get by" anywhere.

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Sooo... I've been accepted to ASU for social psychology. I'll be visiting for their recruitment weekend, but would love to hear from some current ASU grad students (if any are reading this). I know plenty about ASU's party school reputation for undergrad, but not so much about their grad reputation. Anyone have any insight to share?

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I have lived in Tempe for the past 10 years.

1. It is hot. It is ungodly hot. It is ungodly hot after 10 years and no, I'm not used to it and no you won't get used to it either. But you will forget, god willing, for the 4 blissful months of Nov-Feb. You will forget how hot it gets, you will say to yourself "I can survive another summer here!" and you will regret it every time... but then you'll forget again. Is it bearable? Of course it is. That is why the area is growing like mold. I think 6 new cities have been added since I moved here!

2. Yes you need a car. You need a car like a fish needs water. Do you want to get somewhere other then where you are standing? Then yes you need a car.

3. There are plenty of places to go on outings, hike, ski, bike, or horse back ride. Bring water. And sunscreen. Yes, bring sunscreen to ski as well.

4. The people are not all white! Seriously? I assure you, they are not all white. I went to a Phoenix high school where white was the clear minority. It's white-ish in Tempe, but it's not all white... jeez.

5. Tempe is not Scottsdale. Scottsdale is shallow and rich and lame. Tempe is an OK town though it pains me to admit it. And when I leave (finally) I know I will miss it and I will hate myself for it. Though they all seamlessly connect, each town in the greater Phoenix area has it's own feel, and Tempe's is the best. Lots of great places to hang out, have a brew, eat a good meal... if you live within two miles of ASU you can bike to a lot of them. But if you'd like some groceries, see #2.

6. The people here are nice. "Nice" is a great word for how the people are. And nice is good. Nice is really good.

7. Getting your bike stolen because you didn't get a U-lock is not a crime. It would have been a crime if it had NOT been stolen. Lock up your bike. I don't know what the actual crime rate is like, but I have no reason to complain. If you are not shady, and if you don't surround yourself with shady people, you will be OK. And yes, the greater Phoenix area is known for meth. Unless you're looking for meth, you won't notice it's there.

Directions for a better Tempe existence:

-Be over 21. :)

-Live in downtown Tempe. I just moved out of my amazingly awesome, one bedroom, perfect for a single grad apartment in downtown Tempe and I was paying less than $450 a month. This is not the norm (though the norm is not too bad either) - I got lucky while driving around the downtown neighborhoods, and you could too. Living in downtown Tempe is the way to go. ASU is in downtown - it was a 10min walk or 3min bike ride from my place. Try to live west of ASU. Get a bike too.

-Go to the following places: Four Peaks Brewery, Casey Moore's, Green, Pho Nhat, Bunna Coffee, Changing Hands Bookstore. Papago Brewery, though in Scottsdale, is a Tempe place in spirit. So go to these places. Unless you are shallow and rich and lame. Then go to Scottsdale. And stay there.

Sooo... I've been accepted to ASU for social psychology. I'll be visiting for their recruitment weekend, but would love to hear from some current ASU grad students (if any are reading this). I know plenty about ASU's party school reputation for undergrad, but not so much about their grad reputation. Anyone have any insight to share?

Weeble, though not a grad student, I can offer up the following. The ASU social pscyh department is amazing. The professors are caring and insightful and brilliant. The grad students are friendly and helpful and awesome. It's a picky department so you should feel special. I did my undergrad at ASU and I didn't get any of that "party school" stuff because I was too busy actually getting an education. It was there, I just didn't go there, and it won't come for you on its own. That being said, you can always have fun in Tempe. The grad soc-psych students seem like a cohesive group and are very inclusive and friendly. I can't tell you which of your choices is "better", but I believe you couldn't go wrong with ASU. If you have any other questions please feel free to pm me.

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I have been accepted into the Bioarchaeology Ph.D. program at ASU. I have been looking online for apartments near the campus, but I can't seem to find any 1 bedroom apartments for under $600 - is this the average price? I would love to live very near downtown and campus as I have lived most of my life in Downtown Saint Louis, MO. Also, does anyone knows if I will have trouble finding availability if I can't get to Tempe and sign a lease until May? Thanks for the help.

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I think $600 for a single is probably average though you can definitely find one bedrooms for cheaper. I would just wait until May when you can come and check them out for yourself. You'll feel better having seen the place before signing the lease and there should still be plenty places available. I know people sign leases for August later than May (I did . . .).

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I grew up in Phoenix and am returning to start my PhD in Poli. Sci. at ASU (can't wait to come back home!). The first thing I have to do is clarify some confusion on the weather: what somebody posted about two comments before me is not true!! How can you say it is too hot in April? Or October for that matter? That's like me saying its too cold in Fort Collins, CO (where I am now) from October through April...if that's the case you just have to learn to adapt a bit or move to a tropical island. For 85 percent of the school year the weather ranges from slightly warm to gorgeous. It will cool off in early Oct (avg 85) and stay nice until early May (same). If you head back home or do something else over the summer you'll barely even touch on the summers in AZ (which admittedly can be brutal). I personally don't mind the summers TOO MUCH, but again I grew up here and I worship the sun so I'm all about it. The person above stated that there's only four months to enjoy but I find it to be the opposite. There's only fourth months to not enjoy (if that).

Phoenix has some ugly parts, trust me (I grew up in one). Plus car theft/break-ins is a problem. I suggest taking an extra step to protect yourself here (the club maybe?). As a student you will likely be centered around Tempe and you might go to Scottsdale to hang out (and you should!), so you really won't come in too close of contact with the bad parts unless you go out of your way. Also, somebody above mentioned Tempe to be a very "white" place. I have to amend this statement: ASU is a very white place, like most other universities (we still have work to do here as a society). But Tempe and Phoenix are very diverse, especially in terms of Latinos, I think even to the point where it makes some white people uncomfortable. Am I off base here?

Mexico is two hours south, California is five hours west, Vegas is four hours away, and the mountains and Flagstaff (great place) are two hours north (you'll find a whole lotta nothin' to the east til you get to Dallas!). In terms of the city and surrounding areas I could go on forever, so feel free to ask about specifics.

I'm curious about the university: what have people's experiences been with the grad student medical insurance? if you were told you were getting funded did it last throughout your stay? Was the administration deplorable or manageable? How does parking work out if you commute? Is there affordable housing/apartments surrounding ASU that allow for some level of concentration? If anybody has any good insight into political science or possibly the social sciences in general then please let me know. Thanks!

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How can you say it is too hot in April?

I can say it's too hot in April because I live here, right now, and it was about 90 degrees some two weeks ago.

In February.

That means you have to turn the AC on in your car, and you get sunburned while biking.

In February!!!

That's how.

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In contrast, while it is ridiculously hot in the summer, I love the weather other times of the year. 90s in February, fantastic.

There are plenty of places around campus to live. I live in a house two miles from campus (to the west) and it's been a quiet place to live that is still plenty close enough to campus that I can ride my bike. I would say, if you can, don't drive to campus. The parking isn't very close and it's expensive! You'll get a free metro pass that you can use on buses and the light rail, so if you want to live further you might consider getting a place close to the light rail line or a bus route. Most places in Tempe you can either take a metro bus or the orbit (the free Tempe neighborhood bus) to campus. Plus Tempe has a lot of bike lanes, making this an easy way to get to campus without having to worry about bus schedules or staying late on campus.

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I can say it's too hot in April because I live here, right now, and it was about 90 degrees some two weeks ago.

That means you have to turn the AC on in your car, and you get sunburned while biking.

In February!!!

That's how.

Ok, I don't mean to beat a dead horse or cloud this board with a petty argument, but I must briefly defend my original statement. First, head over to weather.com and check February's recorded temps for Tempe. It never topped 90 (highest 84 and most often upper 60s into the 70s...not hot). There will be abnormal days in March when it hits 90+, I'll grant you that. But you have to base your assessment on averages and based on that my above statement is right on the money. Avg temps in the valley don't hit 90+ til early May. If a few aberrant 100+ days in April is going to kill you or you're very sensitive to the sun don't come to Phoenix. Otherwise its really not that bad.

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